Airpods, common project Achilles, and postmating meals on the weekends are a privilege.
Not everybody has the same retirement timeline as you. Most of 80Kers will work far longer bc we don't have as much to put into 401Ks, etc.
Obviously, 80K may not include stock etc.
A small but mighty amount doesn't care about money as much because it'll come with career ladder climbing (consulting, some banking).
Money isn't always the end game. If someone enjoys their work enough and it's been a dream to live in the Bay area, 80K is enough to get by. If said person is extremely happy and loves being here, I'd argue they're richer than most of us are.
Correct ... I was earning 80k in Texas with great WLB and good social life. Was able to go to gym daily along with a hobby but looked at all the folks here with high TCs and gave myself a shot at Fang with double the TC in Bay Area.
Now, I have more stress with no WLB but money that I can’t use.
Not everyone works in the tech industry, so many people are actually doing very good in their careers if they are making 80k, and they may just be smarter than many of us. This is something a new grad swe making 130k will never understand.